The Affordable, Portable House

[cycloneslider id=”weekend-cabin-feature-the-affordable-portable-house”] Any time you’re spending money on a house, the stress is magnified. Costs are almost always high, and

[cycloneslider id=”weekend-cabin-feature-the-affordable-portable-house”]

Any time you’re spending money on a house, the stress is magnified. Costs are almost always high, and you have to live with your decisions, good and bad. Buying a house or cabin is fraught with worry, and building, well, that’s another can of a thousand wormy decisions (though, there are certainly worse stresses than, say, have to pick the flooring of your weekend getaway). On the other hand, buying a pre-designed, simple, and ready made structure, like the Wedge cabins in Wilson, Wyoming, or this new shelter from Spanish architectural firm Ábaton, has a lot to recommended it. Pay for it, pick your site, and have the truck deliver.

Despite obvious benefits, though, prefabricated housing hasn’t caught on in North America as it has in Europe. There are cost efficiencies, of course, and better quality control from building indoors instead of onsite in unpredictable weather. Indeed, the cost of this 290-square foot house, is just $42,000. That’s not chump change, of course, but if you can snap up a sweet cabin for the price of an Audi, maybe you should. We’re snapping up European automobiles…why not houses?

The ÁPH80, as Ábaton has named it, is divided into a three sections. There’s a full(ish) bedroom, a full bathroom, and a central living space with a tiny kitchenette area. All the views are oriented in the same direction, and it’s easy to picture this little home dropped onto a pad above a lake or beach. The exterior of cement-treated wood, seems sterile, but it already looks weathered and will taken on an organic ruggedness over time. And the whole thing closes up nice and tight — a bonus since vacation homes are vulnerable to break-ins and vandalism.

For more, visit Photos by Juan Baraja

Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite. To see more weekend cabins, visit the Weekend Cabin channel page.

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Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal.
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Showing 15 comments
  • Karl Holtby
    Karl Holtby

    I need this!

  • Nicholas Cryder
    Nicholas Cryder

    How does water, power and septic work?

  • Laura Ryan
    Laura Ryan

    yes please

  • williamtombert

    the farmer is going to be a bit confused when you goes to plow his wheat field next year

  • J
    J'mie Farrinochi

    any info????? water? septic? operating temperatures? Can this be used in mid winter in Zone 4?

  • Morgan Edwards
    Morgan Edwards

    looks like it could be delivered by helicopter too with the hook points on the roof. So, apparently this is ‘camping’ now.

  • Brian Raszka

    Great idea here. Price per square foot is reasonable. I’d live in it full-time. Either this or a tiny cottage.
    Reminds me of other companies like: and

  • Jay Long

    It’s like a high-end double-wide. I love it, though.

  • Brian Okarski
    Brian Okarski

    Adam Woronecki

  • Adam Woronecki
    Adam Woronecki

    Pretty awesome but 290 sq ft? Is that right? That’s f’in tiny

  • Adam Woronecki
    Adam Woronecki

    Nicholas Cryder J’mie Farrinochi in sure you would have to have your own hook ups….

  • Geordie Tait
    Geordie Tait

    Bryan Kidd

  • Robi

    Needs more eave for snow country.

  • ted

    Looks like they start at $92k. Gotta be cheaper DIY if you know a thing or two.

  • david huxtable

    this house is designed built in n spain 6weeks from start to finish from order it was designed to portable on back of a low loader travel anywhere bybroad under eu size guidelines it also being considered classed as a temp dwelling no real foundations needed just level plinths of stone or wood which require pre prepping before hoisting it gets around the planning laws rules of spain n many other planning dept rules makes it easier to obtain permission once land is secured as its categorised as a temp or moveable home no planning laws currently cover this category of building which is why it was designed to skirt arounds the unecessary beauracracy of planning hype!!!
    it comes pre furbed to your own preferences wood color or appliances elecs pre installed windows etc ready to go from the off!!!

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